WTF Fun Fact 12444 – Roosevelt’s Pet Hyena

There’s an official Presidential Pet Museum dedicated to all the furry and feathered friends that have roamed the White House halls (and lawns).

Theodore Roosevelt has quite a few pets, and he and his family were animal lovers. However, he wasn’t terribly fond of hyenas. And that turned out to be a bit of a problem at first when Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia gifted him a male hyena in 1904.

It was reported by the captain of the ship that brought him to America that the hyena, plainly named “Bill,” “laughed all the time.” Apparently, this grew on Roosevelt, who became fond of the creature. In fact, he even let it into the White House and gave it scraps from the dinner table!

It has always been common for world leaders to give exotic pets as animals, but a hyena seems like a bit of an odd choice. Then again, what do you get the man who has everything?

Roosevelt reportedly was able to teach Bill a few tricks before he was sent along with his White House pal Joe the Lion to the National Zoo to live out his life. After all, Roosevelt was a busy man. – WTF fun facts

Source: “Theodore Roosevelt’s Hyena” — The Presidential Pet Museum